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Retired Ukraine football star Shevchenko flops on political debut

Published on Oct 29, 2012 6:22 AM
Andriy Shevchenko, a former soccer player and member of "Ukraine Forward" social democratic party, casts his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary elections in Kiev, October 28, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - The political debut of retired Ukrainian football star Andriy Shevchenko appeared to be heading for disaster on Sunday after exit polls predicted the former AC Milan super-striker's new party would fail to win any automatic parliament seats.

Two separate exit polls showed "Sheva's" Ukraine Forward! party collecting just 1.6 per cent of the ballot in Ukraine's bitterly contested parliamentary elections.

The result placed one of the country's most revered sports heroes in the unfamiliar position of finishing way back in sixth place and well outside the five-per cent barrier that qualified parties for automatic representation.

Shevchenko entered politics shortly after he finished his storied international footballing career for Ukraine during the Euro 2012 tournament that the ex-Soviet state co-hosted with Poland this summer.

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